The Kremlin has urgently decided to purchase a large batch of potassium iodide, according to the order published on the website of the State Procurement of Russia on Sept. 26.
The tender was announced amid threats by Russian dictator Vladimir Putin to use nuclear weapons.
The website states that iodine is planned to be purchased for almost RUB 5,000,000 (about $86,000 at the current exchange rate).
Only four days are allocated for the procurement procedure.
The Russian government agency stressed that the purchase of potassium iodide for the population is carried out annually.
According to Russian media Kommersant, in late December 2020 and early March 2021, tenders for the purchase of the drug for approximately the same amount were placed in the system. The only difference is the urgency of the tender.
Potassium iodide preparations protect the thyroid gland so that radioactive iodine does not negatively affect the human body.
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, after announcing mobilization in Russia on Sept. 21, once again threatened Western countries with the use of nuclear weapons, stressing that "it was not a bluff."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that the Russian military doctrine – including the rules of nuclear weapons use – would extend to Ukrainian territories Russia is currently looking to annex via sham referendums, as outlined in the Russian constitution.
The White House said that Washington had warned the Kremlin of "serious consequences" in the event of the use of nuclear weapons against Ukraineand, together with its allies, is ready to give a "decisive" response.
The situation around the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant seized by Russian troops also raises concerns.
Russian troops are known to have set up firing positions at the ZNPP and have regularly shelled Ukrainian cities from them. Ukrainian state nuclear power company Energoatom has reported that the Russian military placed more than a dozen pieces of military equipment, including ammunition, weapons, and explosives in the turbine hall of the first reactor of the plant.
In total, more than 40 units of Russian military equipment have been placed on the grounds of the facility.
In August, the occupying troops repeatedly staged provocations with the shelling of ZNPP. On Aug. 25, Russian troops provoked the first temporary disconnection from the power grid in the history of the ZNPP. The ZNPP was again disconnected on Sept. 11, due to further Russian shelling that damaged all power lines connecting the plant to the Ukrainian power grid.